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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Clayton Mitchem, QB, University of New Mexico

claytonEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you.

What is your name?

My name is Clayton Mitchem 

What is your Height/Weight?

Im 6’0 190-192 

What is your position?

Quarterback  

Where do you play college football?

I played 2 years at North Eastern Oklahoma A&M Jr. College then went to the University of New Mexico. 

How did you choose your school?

I chose the school that I had a good opportunity to play my first year. 

Where are you from?

I’m from Fort Smith, AR. 

Who is your role model, and why?

I don’t have too many role models but if I had to choose one it would be Aaron Rodgers. I think -I kind of have the similar background story; not being highly recruited out of high school and having to go the juco route made me really relate to him. Just watching/hearing the way he dealt with his situation made me think that there was hope no matter what the circumstances are.

Have any scouts met with you yet, and if so what are they saying?

No, no scouts have met with me

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played football/basketball all through middle school. 

Did you play any other positions in football?

I only played Quarterback my whole life

At your position, what separates you from others?

I have always been a competitor my whole life. I love to compete against the best at my position, to me the better my competitor is the better my game will be. Watching film and examining your opponent is something that I enjoy doing, getting a edge on my opponent for the week is something that I take pride in. My worst fear Is going into a game being unprepared. Im a dual-threat, I can keep plays alive with my feet but I don’t look to run when I scrabble out the pocket. Being clutch in every situation Is important and I feel I am clutch in all situations that I  encounter.  

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

When watching film is something I take pride in like I said. I have learned over the years not to look for a defense tendencies when breaking down film. Tendencies can be misleading based off the number of defenders. When I play I stay true to my reads. I watch how deep the safeties are and often times the CB will give you a solid look on what the coverage maybe. Certain teams do certain movements to disguise a blitz. Knowing where the blitz is coming from is crucial, you have to be able to slide your line into the blitz. 

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

My toughest opponent I played against was Aaron Donald for Pitt University at the time. It seemed like every play he was in the backfield hitting me or in my face even when I didn’t have the ball. In my mind, I’m like ‘wow this guy is everywhere”. When we looked at the film the next day he was everywhere. 

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be and why?

If I had to compare myself to someone in the NFL it would be my man Aaron Rodgers or a Russell Wilson. How they just play the game so well and look so smooth while doing it. They both can run the ball well but they make the majority of the plays inside the pocket; the running ability is just extra.  

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?

I was not a standout player nor a flashy one often times that got me overlooked I felt. But every time I would go in I would get the job done no matter what. Just being overlooked made me put push myself harder and I fed off the negativity that people gave me. Saying things like “I won’t make it at the next level”, “your arm isn’t strong enough”, etc. I just sit back and smile the whole time because I seen it before it even happened.  I know myself and I know what I’m capable of.

claytonnnDo you have any pre-game rituals?

My pre-game ritual is real simple. I put my headphones on and vibe out and think about what I need to accomplish in order to get this win. 

What is your biggest strength?

My biggest strength is to extend play with my feet by getting outside the pocket to throw the ball when I have to.  

What is your biggest weakness?

The biggest weakness I have is size. Gaining weight is the hardest thing for me. But I like the challenge because when I gain 1lb I know I worked hard for it.  

If I were a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I’m not going to sell you a dream but if you want a guy that is going to compete a 110%, a guy that takes coaching extremely well and someone that looks for every flaw in his game to improve that flaw so it won’t be one then I’m your guy. 

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

My favorite player was Deion Sanders. I didn’t have a favorite team. I always thought which ever team picks me up first that’s going to be my favorite team.  

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

I would like to have dinner with one of my dead friends, named Charlie, my dead sister named Desiree, and Nipsey Hussle.  

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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